From the East Bay Express:
Last year the Oakland chapter of League of Women Voters gave out awards to six bloggers, who, the organization argued, were “helping make democracy work.” The prize was small (it consisted of a plaque with a framed image of a quilt); the accolades were sure and sweeping. The winners — Aimee Allison, Debby Richman, Echa Schneider, Jonathan Bair, Rebecca Saltzman, and Zennie Abraham — were credited with providing up-to-date local news coverage, some of it in-depth. They were part of a nationwide blogging movement carried out by autonomous citizen-journalists, who mostly blogged for no pay. With all the slashing of editorial budgets and shrinking of mastheads at so-called “mainstream” press outlets, the conventional wisdom was that citizen bloggers providing free content on the Internet would fill the gaps. By April of 2011 (the month the awards were distributed), web publications like Allison’s OaklandSeen and Schneider’s A Better Oakland really seemed like the wave of the future.
But shortly after being recognized, half the blogs fizzled out. Schneider, a city library employee who wrote under the handle VSmoothe, published her last entry on November 7, 2011, and it was written by a guest commentator. OaklandSeen quietly ceased operations in May, although the domain remains active. As of late last week, Saltzman’s Living in the O hadn’t posted anything since early January, and entries were sporadic in prior months. The blogs that remain, meanwhile, tend more toward civic boosterism (like Bair’s TheDTO blog or Richman’s Today in Montclair), or foreground pop culture coverage that’s unrelated to Oakland, as is the case with Abraham’s deceptively named Oakland Focus. In short, political blogging in Oakland, once touted as the future of journalism, disappeared almost as quickly as it had arrived.
Blogging is like everything else that is worthwhile. Energy levels drop. Real-world problems like job and family get in the way. You get sick of trying to roll boulders uphill.
So bloggers quit.
And new bloggers start.
And old bloggers get their second wind.
Of course, this newfangled thing called Facebook can suck the time right out of your life. Tell ya what, though. You can use Facebook and Twitter to send visitors to your blog.